Legacy in part by definition means, “something transmitted by or received from an ancestor” (Merriam-Webster). This word has special meaning to me as the month of November is honored in my heart being it is the birth month of my mother and one year since her transition to heaven.
This time last year she was dealing with a variety of ailments in her physical body, but something supernatural happened during what would be her final days on earth. She was being healed in such a beautiful way in more than just her physical body.
You see, my mother longed for healing not only in her physical state but in those areas not seen where life had hurt her. In what was revealed to us by the doctors as her “last days” I saw my mom receive healing in every area of her life and there was such peace. God granted us such precious times together as we prayed, sang and read scripture knowing she was one step closer to meeting her Heavenly Father.
My mom was by no means perfect. She had many flaws and imperfections. Yet through it all, she had a steadfast faith and she pressed through whatever she was facing. Isn’t that the story of us all? Who on this earth is perfect? Yet in all of these imperfections and cracks in our life, we can allow His light to shine through us and His strength to be made perfect in our weakness.
As I ponder today almost one year later since last seeing her, since saying my last “I love you” to her, I think of one word, legacy. I don’t consider what mistakes she made or what she didn’t have. My heart is overwhelmed with gratitude for who she was to me and what she left behind as a legacy.
By society’s standards my mom was not rich yet she had true wealth. You see even as an adult when I would go home to visit my mom, I would wake up in the early morning to see her reading her Word. Each day she would go to her church for the daily Bible Reading and she would end her night singing worship songs to God. This was not done out of religion or routine but a RELATIONSHIP with Jesus. My mom left to me something far greater than all the money in the world; she gave me Jesus.
She gave me a foundation of faith and example of “never quit”. Anyone who knew my mom could quickly identify how strong she was, right, wrong or indifferent, she would not be moved from what she felt in her heart to be right. I saw my mom press past what would have caused others to give up. She gave me strength.
From the time I was little she would tell me how beautiful I was and she would tell me I was capable of doing anything I set my heart to do. Being biracial in a predominately white community she taught me to treasure who I was and embrace what made me different. She told me I could achieve absolutely anything! She gave me confidence.
When I was disappointed or hurt, she would remind me that God was always there. Somehow through the phone from miles away she would make everything better just by listening and praying with me. She gave me comfort.
Her smile was so big and her laugh contagious. One of our favorite things to do during the past few years was watch “Golden Girls” together. I’m not sure which was more entertaining, the show itself, or hearing my mom laugh at episodes I know she had seen many times before. Summer nights were spent on her patio playing games. She would relish in the fact she could destroy me at the game “Boggle.” I loved seeing her laugh! She gave me joy.
Her cooking and baking was by far the best I’ve ever had. As a young girl she would make me help her in the kitchen and each time I dreaded it because it was her passion and not mine. As I got older I learned to value these lessons in the kitchen because over the years I knew it would be a time I would one day treasure. I’d like to say she gave me her kitchen skills but no. However, she gave me memories.
She fought for me, stood in the gap and prayed for me. She wiped my tears and held my hand too many times for me to count. She sang to me, motivated me and bore the responsibility of both mom and dad. She defended me, protected me and nurtured me. She taught me, disciplined me and inspired me. All of this to say, she gave me love.
So, I will in turn do my best to give to others the good I have learned from her. I will treasure the memories and forever be grateful for what I have inherited from her. Jesus, strength, confidence, comfort, joy, memories and love…LEGACY.
Photo Credit: Omar Galarza Photography 2016